|STAFF AND BOARD OF DIRECTORS|
Palisades Village is led by a highly qualified executive staff and board of directors with decades of high-level experience in a wide range of fields, who tirelessly work to help the organization fulfill its vision.
Erica Blanton, Executive Director
Erica Blanton came to Palisades Village in 2016 to coordinate programs and volunteers as well as manage the office. In her previous position, she worked with older adults as a Senior Transition Manager, sometimes helping them find more supportive housing but often making their current home work better so they could age in place. Before that she had an extensive career in advertising, marketing and communications, first with Earle Palmer Brown in Bethesda, Maryland where she advanced to the position of Vice President and Media Director, and then as a Partner and Managing Director for Harmonic International, LLC in Baltimore. She has also managed her own consulting firm. She volunteers with various local arts organizations. Her daughter is enrolled at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts.
Anne Ourand, Assistant Director
Born and raised in Cleveland, Anne graduated from Xavier University before starting a career in social service work that included a stint with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, running the Emergency Services Department for a large non-profit in Great Falls, Montana and managing a child support agency in Cleveland. Anne moved to D.C. three decades ago to marry a seventh generation Washingtonian. She almost immediately started working for SOME (So Others Might Eat) coordinating the Donations Department. After five years, Anne and her husband moved to London, where Anne took a job as the assistant director of the Hackney Volunteer Bureau. Anne returned to DC four years later to start a family and take up her old job at SOME. She also agreed to join the Palisades Community Association as its administrator. She raised three children: a son who graduated from Gonzaga High School and Temple University; a daughter who graduated from Georgetown Visitation and attends the College of Holy Cross; and another daughter who attends Visitation. She has been married to John, a sports journalist, for 27 years. Anne has been intimately involved in the Palisades neighborhood since moving here in 1999.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Claudia de Colstoun, President, Kent
Claudia de Colstoun is a Leadership Coach and Mediator. She has recently retired from the Inter-American Development Bank Group (IDBG) where she had an exceptional career path, cultivating a deep understanding of mediation, human resources, coaching, business operations, and corporate management. Having led the IDBG’s Human Capital Strategy, she applied extensive strategy development experience to all aspects of recruiting, talent management, HR best practices, and policy, with particular expertise in program development and implementation related to conflict management and resolution, facilitation, and negotiation. She has lived extensively in Latin America, North America, and Europe, is fluent in four languages and is a champion of cultural diversity, committed to promoting mediation and coaching to encourage discussion, solve conflict and engender progress. She holds a Leadership Coaching Certificate from Georgetown University, an M.A. in International Relations from George Washington University, a B.A. in Political Science from Middlebury College, and a French Baccalaureate Degree from the Lycée Français in Caracas, Venezuela. She has been living in the Palisades with her family since 2012.
Susan Messina, Vice President, Palisades
Susan Messina has been working in nonprofit management, mostly as a fundraising and communications professional for health and human services organizations in the Washington, DC area since 1991. She is currently the Development Director for the Jewish Council on Aging, a position she was hired for in 2021. Most recently, Susan served as the Deputy Director at Iona Senior Services and previously was its Director of Development and Communications. Susan has volunteered in the LGBTQ community for many years, serving on the boards of the Mautner Project for Lesbians with Cancer, SMYAL (formerly the Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League), and running support groups through Whitman-Walker Health and Rainbow Families. Her current volunteer work includes serving as a member of the Sibley Hospital Patients and Family Advisory Committee (PFAC) and co-chairing the ad hoc LGBTQ Aging Services Network. She has held leadership positions at the River Road Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Bethesda, including co-chairing a $3.1 million capital campaign in 2014-15. Susan holds a bachelor’s degree from Bryn Mawr College, two master’s degrees from the Bryn Mawr Graduate School of Social Work & Social Research, and a master’s in library and information science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She and her wife have lived in the Palisades since 2001 and sent their daughter to DC Public Schools.
Ellen has 40 years of experience as an accountant or Director of Finance for a variety of non-profit or governmental organizations including the Montgomery Housing Opportunities Commission, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Environmental Law Institute, and the Wellness Community. Her duties during this period varied from overseeing all accounting and finance activities to responsibility for various specialized accounting activities.
She currently volunteers at Palisades Village in the office. She also volunteers with The Smithsonian Associates, Learning Ally, and the Blackwater Wildlife Refuge in Cambridge, Maryland. Ellen holds a BA from Duke University, an MPA from Cornell University, and an MBA from the University of Maryland.
Nephelie Andonyadis, Secretary
With a background in arts and education, Nephelie is a theater artist, a professor and a gerontologist working at the intersection of arts, community and policy to help transform the culture of care for older adults. As a scenic and costume designer, Nephelie has worked with regional theaters across the country and around DC. She has been a tenured professor of Theater Arts at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and at the University of Redlands in Southern California.
Nephelie was born in DC and raised in Foxhall Village where she was a student at Hardy Elementary before attending and graduating from Sidwell Friends School. She holds an MFA from the Yale University School of Drama and an M.S. in Aging and Health from Georgetown University.
Nephelie focus centers in the intersectional spaces where quality of life and citizenship intersect with arts, culture and policy, working towards a broader and deeper culture of care. As a means towards empowering and enabling older adults to successfully age in place, she sees the Villages positioned in one of these intersectional spaces in support of community values and as agents of change.
Elaine Bole, Kent
Elaine Bole spent over 15 years working in broadcast news in Washington, DC before leaving journalism for international development and human rights advocacy.
Ms. Bole has worked with refugees since 1993 during the war in the former Yugoslavia, and later in Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Uganda, the West Bank, and Iraq. She worked on humanitarian and relief issues at the United Nation’s Refugee Agency and World Vision, leading and managing a diverse array of projects, such as strategic media outreach for rapid-response disaster relief and in-field TV specials and press coverage of conflicts.
Ms. Bole developed with philanthropist Pam Omidyar a traveling interactive children's museum exhibit called Torn from Home: My Life as a Refugee, designed to provide a hands-on opportunity to experience life in a refugee camp. The exhibit opened at Lied’s Children’s Museum in Las Vegas in June 2008. The exhibit’s tour schedule was booked until March 2013. She is currently working on a multimedia project locating the refugee children she interviewed in war zones to hear about their life today as adults.
Prior to her humanitarian work, Ms. Bole was executive producer of Washington, DC's award-winning syndicated National Public Radio shows, The Derek McGinty Show, and Public Interest with Kojo Nnamdi.
Elaine earned a MA in Journalism and Public Affairs from American University and was a Reuters Journalism Fellow at the University of Oxford (Green College), England. She grew up in Dover, Delaware, and now resides in both Dewey Beach, Delaware, and Washington, DC. She has volunteered her time to the Town of Dewey as the Chair of the 10-year Comprehensive Plan and as a member of the Charter and Code Review Committee and oversaw the revamping of the town's website. She has served as the Election Board Chair for the Town of Dewey Beach elections since 2019. Bole also serves as the President of the Marina View Homeowner’s Association in Dewey Beach, a 46-unit, 22-million-dollar residential complex.
Tom DeMuth, Palisades
Tom is a realtor with Evers & Co. Real Estate, a Long & Foster Company. For many years, Tom served as president of a lighting design company with office locations throughout the east coast. He also worked for IBM as a financial analyst and a national account marketing representative with responsibility for a Fortune 30 company. He holds a BS in Finance and an MBA from Virginia Tech.
In addition to being a past board member and longtime volunteer with Palisades Village, Tom serves as an advisory board member with Work Opportunities Unlimited which specializes in placing job seekers who may experience barriers to employment.
Tom has lived in the DC metro area for the majority of his life and moved to the Palisades in 2008. He is married to Janet Mann, a professor at Georgetown University.
Job Dittberner, Spring Valley
Job grew up in St Paul, Minnesota, the fifth of seven children, in a family where Catholic piety, education, and music were important. His professional career began as a professor of history after gaining a PhD at Columbia University. The yen for the broader political world led him to DC, where he became a staff assistant on a special congressional committee. That led to the international secretariat of the North Atlantic Assembly in Brussels, a NATO organization, for eight years, where he was Director of Committees and Studies, then back to DC and the Atlantic Council of the United States, where he became Vice President for Programs and Projects. After funding for East-West relations changed with the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact, he became a Senior Analyst at the National Intelligence Council.
While in Brussels, he met and married his wife Ghislaine, who at the time was the European representative of the private sector of Mauritius. Aside from some periodic consultations, she gave up her career to return with him to the US in 1985. By then they had one child and a second on the way.
Retirement has allowed time to travel, research, reading, especially history and contemporary fiction; family history; gardening; house maintenance; a vigorous (pre-pandemic) social life; and Palisades Village.
Sharon Dalton Hays, Palisades
Sharon lived on Long Island as a kid, then moved to Iowa. She attended college at the University of Wisconsin and graduated with a BA. Sharon resided in San Francisco and eventually ended up in Boston, where she received a Master and married her husband, John Hays. While in Boston Sharon established a group home for teenagers who were wards of the state. She remained there for seven years and had two daughters. John and Sharon spent 8 years on a 100-acre farm in Maine tending chickens, goats, cows, horses, turkeys, and sheep. In 1977, the Hays family moved to DC to try managing the Phoenix, located in Georgetown specializing in Mexican imports started by John’s parents in the 1950s. Shortly after they moved into the area, John’s father died and they have been involved in the business ever since. In the 1990s and early 2000s, Sharon traveled the world and visited over 10 countries, volunteered with USAID, and mentored small businesses in remote locations. She thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
As Sharon tells it, “It’s been quite an adventure, and I always tell the story about how we, and several other neighbors, read about this cool idea in Boston — a Village! We met at a picnic table on Sherier Place in 2007…and the rest is history — Palisades Village!”
William Iverson, Spring Valley
Bill grew up in a small village in northern New York, graduated from Penn, and then spent two years driving an aircraft carrier for the Navy. After studying law at Yale, he came to Washington in 1968 for a clerkship. Contrary to his plans, he then stayed in Washington and spent his career as a litigator, for the first few years with the DC office of a New York firm, and then for many years with a large local firm. He began phasing down his practice in 2006, and since then has spent time traveling with his wife Susan, doing a number of pilgrimage walks in Spain and Italy, working with a variety of alternative photographic processes, and doing volunteer work.
As part of the latter, he gave presentations in 2019 on new alternatives to hearing aids to the Palisades and two other Villages, as part of an HLAA program. After that he did a modest amount of volunteering at Palisades Village, mostly driving. Since the pandemic ended that, and traveling -- at least for a while -- he has been digitizing and printing photographs from the relatively immense collection of negatives and slides sitting in his darkroom since he was forced to convert to digital cameras.
Susan and he have lived on Tilden Street since they moved here from Capitol Hill in 1978. They have two daughters, one in Cambridge and one in Cleveland Park, and two young grandchildren in each place.
Charles Lanman, Foxhall
Charles B. Lanman, Jr. is a retired bank trust officer. As a local boy, he graduated from St. John’s College High School. He is a graduate of George Washington University and received a J.D. degree from George Mason Law School. He spent 34 years in the banking business after law school and was the Senior Vice President and Manager of the trust department of Burke & Herbert Bank in Alexandria, Virginia for the last 12 years of his career. He has helped organize the annual Estate Planning Seminar for Palisades Village since 2013. He is an active member of the Rotary Club of Alexandria. Mr. Lanman started volunteering for Palisades Village in 2011 and was a board member for a two-year term in 2012.
Charlie and his wife Mary have lived in Foxhall Village since 1990. They have 2 children, Michael age 31 and Claire age 28. Charlie is an avid cyclist and does a C&O Canal trip annually with other residents. He also enjoys golf and spending long weekends in Rappahannock County.
Char Mollison, Palisades
Arne Paulson, Foxhall
A native of Washington DC, Arne moved to Foxhall Village in 1956 and still lives in the family home bought by his parents in 1961. He is a graduate of Sidwell Friends School, Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, and Tufts’ Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, where he obtained a Master’s Degree in 1976. Professionally, Arne pursued a career in international development, working as an economist in a number of international organizations, including the World Bank, UNCTAD (Geneva), the International Energy Agency (Paris), and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), from which he retired in 2007. Arne has been active in community service work, including participating as a past Board member and Vice President of the Foxhall Community Citizens Association. Arne and his wife Sara have been active members of Palisades Village and are credited with developing Palisades Village’s “associate member” category, which has successfully increased the association’s membership and financial base. He has previously served on the Palisades Village board and chaired the Fundraising Committee. He is a current member of the Endowment Campaign and Finance Committees.
Kate Montague Perry, Palisades
Kate graduated from Wesleyan University with a BA in English Literature, including a semester at the University of London while interning for a Member of Parliament. She also earned a JD from the Georgetown University Law Center. Kate retired five years ago from the Environmental Protection Agency after 25 years of natural resource protection and public policy advocacy, after first working in historic preservation law at the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation and National Trust for Historic Preservation. She currently volunteers as a Board member of the US chapter of the international organization ICOMOS, which works to preserve World Heritage Sites, serves on the Historic Preservation Subcommittee of the Committee of 100 on the Federal City, and serves on the Holton-Arms Alumnae Board. With her retirement Kate has volunteered for Palisades Village's House Tour and Events Committee that organizing events and social activities.
Email or call to set up an appointment or talk with a staff member directly.
Full membership fees are $600 for individuals and $900 for households. Subisdies are available for low-income members.
Associate members' annual dues are $300; which is fully tax deductible.